THE LAWFUL CIVIL MAGISTRATE
The Westminster Confession of Faith has this to say about the lawful civil magistrate: "Infidelity, or difference in religion, doth not make void the magistrate's just and legal authority, nor free the people from their obedience to him…" This doctrine is founded in the Word of God, which teaches that the rulers that be are ordained of God. For example, read Romans chapter 13.
It is upon this point in
the Westminster Confession of Faith that Richard Cameron of 17th century
Scotland erred. While he had a right to point out the wickedness of King
Charles II, and even to encourage the Parliament to restrain him and bring him
to justice, Richard Cameron had no right to declare King Charles II the
illegitimate ruler of
This issue too comes to bear on the Boston Tea Party, the American Revolution, etc.
Today too, though men like
Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are very wicked men in many respects, it is not
the place of those of us who are mere citizens of the nation to pronounce them
illegitimate rulers. Bill Clinton’s religious infidelity or President
Bush's religious infidelity does not make void the status as President, until
such time as God or a God ordained agent like Congress removes him. It may well be that God uses a wicked party
to overthrow the
This goes to the heart of the difference between the FPCS (Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland) and the RPNA (Reformed Presbytery of North America), both denominations of which profess to adhere to the Westminster Confession of Faith and want nations covenanted to Christ according to the principles of the Westminster Confession of Faith. The FPCS rightly recognizes men like George W. Bush as the lawful civil magistrate, even as they urge him to repent of his sins.